April 27, 1941: When the nazis entered Athens

WW2 in Greece

By Pierre Kosmidis

On 6 April 1941, Germany came to the aid of Italy and invaded Greece through Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
Greek and British Commonwealth troops fought back but were overwhelmed.
On 20 April, after Greek resistance in the north had ceased, the Bulgarian Army entered Greek Thrace, without having fired a shot, with the goal of regaining its Aegean Sea outlet in Western Thrace and Eastern Macedonia.
The Bulgarians occupied territory between the Strymon River and a line of demarcation running through Alexandroupoli and Svilengrad west of the Evros River.
The Greek capital Athens fell on 27 April, and by 1 June, after the capture of Crete, all of Greece was under Axis occupation.

After the invasion King George II fled, first to Crete and then to Cairo. A nominally right-wing Greek government ruled from Athens, but it was a puppet of the occupiers, the so-called “Quislings”, the name of the Norwegian traitor who became a nazi pawn.

On this rare photo, recoloured by acclaimed artist Markos Danezis, we see elements of a nazi mechanised column in Athens, most probably very close to Omonia (Concord) Square, one of the most central spots of the capital of Greece. Note the indifferent stance of the passers-by, no one is even looking at the nazis.